JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Linda Pischke, author of The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry
More than 200,000 women occupy beds in US prisons and jails. Separated from their families and shunned by society, they live in shame – overlooked, feared, and despised.
In this intense and very personal memoir, Linda Pischke shares her experiences in jail ministry and examines the world of incarcerated women. Citing statistics from the US Department of Justice, she exposes the truth about women offenders and brings new insight to the needs of this forgotten and misunderstood population.
Most of these women will eventually return to our communities. Will we welcome them home and teach them the skills they need to survive in society or will we continue to punish them for their crimes, forcing them to recycle through the system?
Eleven women share their personal stories and Linda reveals how God teaches us to love the unlovable when we open our hearts to serving him.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry“?
Linda Pischke: I was invited to teach a Bible study class at a jail in our community. Once I met the women, I realized my beliefs about criminals and why people are incarcerated was all wrong.
I never understood the pain behind their actions or how they came to make the decisions that led to being imprisoned. They had stories to tell – stories everyone needs to hear.
JP: What sets “The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry” apart from other books in the same genre?
LP: There are very few books written about women offenders, and those tend to emphasize the dark side of corrections with little hope for change. “The Women of Block 12” covers a period of 10 years.
I got to know these women very well and learned what it is they need to break the cycle. “The Women of Block 12” offers concrete suggestions for individuals and groups to help offenders both while they are in prison and when they are released.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry” getting out to the public?
LP: I started my website and blog long before “The Women of Block 12” was released. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Most of my sales have been on Kindle and through face-to -ace contacts with ministries. I offer the book at a reduced price for groups that want to use it as a fundraiser.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry”?
LP: I started writing “The Women of Block 12” within weeks after the class at the jail began. So much happened each time I met with the women that I felt it was necessary to get it down on paper. The book is really a collection of things that happened over the 10 years I was at the jail.
When I announced I was writing a book, the women came forward with their personal stories. Most of the writing and editing was done the last two years.
JP: What’s next for Linda Pischke?
LP: I continue to give talks wherever people will listen and work on getting the word out about the inequality in our justice system and how we can offer treatment to non-violent offenders – that’s about 80% of the prison population. I’m currently working on a YA novel – my first try at fiction.
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